Paul O'Sullivan jokes that he is always relieved to get his 13th win of the season out of the way - passing the criteria for wins required by a trainer each term - and meaning he doesn't have to answer to the licensing committee in the off-season. After Jade Pins pushed O'Sullivan into "safe" territory, the New Zealander only had to wait 30 minutes for his 14th - and it was with a progressive type that seems destined to provide even more wins - Divine Diya.
When O'Sullivan moved to Hong Kong in 2004, he asked good mate and Pukekohe Park-based trainer Richard Yuill to keep an eye out for a good prospect - and he came through with a cracking type that has adapted instantly to his new home.
"It has taken seven seasons, but Richard finally called and said: 'I've found a horse for you'," said O'Sullivan, who will head back to his homeland this week for the Karaka Yearling Sales. "Richard spotted him there at trackwork at Pukekohe, he was with an owner-trainer. It's like the horse has just got off the plane here, had a quick look around and said "Yep, I like this joint" - he has got a gun attitude."
The four-year-old has now won two times from three starts, with yesterday's victory coming despite scoping with substantial mucopus post-race, and jockey Tye Angland being forced to come from much further back than anticipated.
"There is more in front of him than there is behind him, that's for sure," O'Sullivan said.
Even though O'Sullivan's opinion is the son of Thorn Park will appreciate more than the 1,200m, Angland suggested progressing the chestnut cautiously because of his tendency to overrace behind a slack tempo.
"He is looking to step him up, but the further you go, the slower they go in the races," Angland said. "He will get further, but he is still a bit revvy at the moment and when there is a slow tempo, he gets his head up high and can over-do it. They didn't go really quick, along the back I let one cross me and I got further back than I wanted to, but then on the turn, he let down beautifully and the runs opened up on the inside."
Jade Pins (Derek Leung Ka-chun) was patiently nursed back to health by O'Sullivan after suffering a bowed tendon last season and has now won two straight.
"With an injury like that, if you give them some time, then you give them a chance - but you're always mindful of it," he said. "He put a gap on them today - maybe he has got another win in him yet. He was holding his form really well last year before he bowed his tendon."